Morgan Bouldin (born Morgan Lyn Bouldin, Houston, Texas) is an American smooth jazz , soul jazz pianist, producer, vocalist, arranger and composer. Since the release of It’s a Mystery to Me in 1996, all of Bouldin’s albums have been self-produced independent releases, with Bouldin producing many of his tracks with a variety of synthesizer, drum and sample textures. Within the realm of smooth jazz, Bouldin is best known for his R&B flavored rhythms, soulful background vocals and synthesized heavy bass patterns. In 2001, he composed and released “Washing the Spears” an Afro- fusion tribute to Shaka Zula on the Wide Open Spaces CD. Bouldin has released a total of 5 albums to date.
Bouldin was born in Houston Texas on June 21, 1960. His mother (Pearlie White) was an elementary school teacher and his father (Johnny Bouldin) worked for the railroad. As a child he was influenced by a full range of musical styles including Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin, Isley Brothers , B.B King and Elton John. At the age of 6, his parents bought him a trumpet and he played in the school band switching over to the organ/piano at the age of 13. He attended the High School for the Health Professions and during the summers he participated in the Houston Summer jazz Workshop meeting and coming under the tutelege of Conrad “Prof” Johnson, Bubbha Thomas, Don Wilkerson, Arnett Cobb, Yusef Lateef and Randy Jackson. Bouldin attended Lamar university in Beaumont Texas and later graduated from the University of Houston with a B.S. in Business Technology.
Bouldin began his career as keyboardist and band leader for R&B and funk bands in Houston, touring Japan in May, 1983. He graced the stage for Al Hudson and One Way, Johnnie Taylor, Dennis Edwards and Archie Bell. During this time Bouldin also had a long association and collaboration with blues musicians including I.J. Gosey, Texas Johnny Brown and Joe Guitar Hughes to name a few. As the house keyboardist for C. Davis Bar-B-Q, Bouldin described the tiny beer joint as one big party where bluesmen throughout the South would drop in to play. As a result, Bouldin has performed many kinds of music in many kinds of places—in humble joints and grand concert halls, mall bookstores and upscale nightclubs, barbecue smokehouses and Tex-Mex ballrooms, holy sanctuaries and happy-hour lounges. The wide range of styles and venues reflects not only his impressive polymorphic capabilities but also his hometown’s diversity . In the early 90’s, sensing a decline in the popularity of R&B music, Bouldin turned his attention back to his jazz roots in preparation for the release of his debut solo album It’s a Mystery to Me.
In January 1996, Bouldin released It’s a Mystery to Me on his own Heart Sound label. The album featured a rendition of Dionne Warwick’s You’ll Never Get to Heaven (if you break my heart). The Houston Press reviewed it favorably citing it’s meaty funk-laced grooves and better-than-average arrangements.
Wide Open Spaces was released in May 2001 to critical acclaim by JazzTimes Magazine who reviewed the album as a nexus of styles-from tribal to jazz to modern funk, tracing Afro history and influence in music and story, with power and grace. The album features, trombonist Frank Lacy Jr., Barrie Lee Hall (trumpet), Joe Carmouche( guitar) and gospel vocalist Patrice Wilson. The album showcases Bouldin’s evolving power as a composer of both instrumentals and lyric-based songs, most of which radiate an urban sound that blurs the line between smooth jazz and contemporary R&B.
The World is Mine was released in August 2005. JazzReview called it a brilliant endeavorand JazzNow noted it innovative, funky and of immense artistry that transcends the genre of smooth jazz. Notable tracks include Roger Troutman and Zap’s More Bounce to the Ounce, The World is Mine, Oleta Adams’ Get Here and Kyle’s Groove featuring saxophonist Kyle Turner.
Anthology 1 – The Best of Morgan Bouldin was released in August 2008 as a compilation disc along with an added track of the Jackson’s hit Shake Your Body Down to the Ground.
Christmas Time Again was released December 2010.
Bouldin resides in Houston, Texas and has traveled extensively throughout Brazil.